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Deep Reads: The judgment of São Miguel

Post Reports

17-02-2024 • 31 minutos

The isolated river village of São Miguel had for years been shielded from a wave of religious conversions remaking the Amazon rainforest of Brazil. While many across the traditionally Catholic country were becoming evangelical Protestants, São Miguel had remained steadfast in its Catholic faith. Then one day, a pastor rumored to have mystical powers arrived and opened the community’s first evangelical church. Since then, the village has fractured in a bitter battle over its religious soul. Now the village must decide. For the first time in a year, an itinerant Catholic priest was journeying downriver on a small boat to celebrate the village's annual Mass. How many villagers would go? Which faith would São Miguel choose?


This story is part of our Deep Reads series, which showcases narrative journalism at The Washington Post. It was written and read by Terrence McCoy. Audio production and original composition by Bishop Sand.

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